BMW will soon begin working on releasing the all-new Mini 3, according to an Autocar report. Next week, Plant Oxford workers will start production line training. The assembly of very early pre-production Mini 3s, which is internally known as ‘kite-flyers’, will start shortly after. However, the new model will not be launched earlier than late 2013.
Already, BMW has finished working on a new body-in-white facility for the Mini 3, which is based on BMW’s new UKL1 front-drive platform, at Oxford. It is also presently working on the tough logistical task of producing both the new Mini and the existing R56-series Mini on one production line.
When interviewed by Autocar, Plant Oxford boss Frank Bachmann said that combining two totally different cars (which don’t even use the same engine) was a very tough task due to the numerous parts that have to be brought to the production line at the correct time. According to sources, Oxford will spend the next couple of years manufacturing Mini 2 and Mini 3 models alongside each other before models based on the R56 platform are totally phased out.
In addition, Bachmann said that the Mini 3 production will start at the Nedcar plant in the Netherlands from ‘the second half of 2014’. Bachmann added that Nedcar, which formerly assembled Mitsubishi models, the first Volvo V40 and the Smart ForFour, is required because the company expects a major jump in Mini demand when the new model is launched.
Magna will continue to make the Countryman and Paceman models under contract in Graz, Austria, until they’re phased out after two years. It’s then believed that Magna will shift to producing another BMW-brand model.